Definition of lobby in English:



  • 1A room providing a space out of which one or more other rooms or corridors lead, typically one near the entrance of a public building.

    ‘they went into the hotel lobby’
    • ‘With the radical image makeover, the humble earthenware has emerged out of the kitchen to occupy pride of place as decorative articles in drawing rooms, hotel lobbies, airport lounges and showrooms.’
    • ‘He wrote music wherever and whenever he could, in waiting rooms and hotel lobbies, between sets and even at home on his piano.’
    • ‘Another architectural consideration is segregating areas like mail rooms and entrance lobbies from the remainder of the building.’
    • ‘The main hallway leads to a lobby and, through another massive arch, into what would have been the living quarters of the original tower house, now the library.’
    • ‘The third strategy (mixed mode) combines natural and artificial ventilation in transition spaces such as lobbies, foyers and the courtyard.’
    • ‘An entrance lobby leads to the sitting room, which has polished timber floors and a charming cast iron fireplace.’
    • ‘A glazed tunnel set slightly off axis leads down through the treelined courtyard into the entrance lobby, one level below ground.’
    • ‘The lobby at the new entrance hosts social events and displays technological products.’
    • ‘They settle in cafes, restaurants and hotel lobbies, selecting those spaces that best support their current activity.’
    • ‘That will free up networks from their computer base and allow connections into conference rooms, lobbies and other public spaces where computer access may net exist.’
    • ‘As the emergency services start to go about their grisly tasks, it is left to stray reporters to phone in reports from the roofs of buildings, from hotel lobbies and pavements.’
    • ‘Paul is an accomplished artist whose unique work adorns many sitting rooms and hotel lobbies throughout the country.’
    • ‘Access to this property is via an entrance lobby which leads to a wide and spacious reception area.’
    • ‘The lobby was right near the entrance to the building, so I assumed the common room would be similarly close.’
    • ‘The building's two lobbies are also on different levels.’
    • ‘A timber staircase leads from the entrance lobby to the first floor and the remaining five bedrooms.’
    • ‘For these reasons, split ductless systems are frequently found in educational and healthcare facilities, computer rooms, lobbies and building entryways.’
    • ‘In public spaces such as lobbies and corridors, good lighting design will create a visual hierarchy by highlighting objects and surfaces to identify what things are important and help visitors find their way.’
    • ‘Clad in bright green glass tiles, the entrance lobby leads to a restful white panelled ante room.’
    • ‘That and the daylighting serve to ameliorate the tight spaces of the upper lobby.’
    entrance hall, hallway, hall, entrance, vestibule, foyer, reception area, outer room, waiting room, anteroom, antechamber, porch
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  • 2(in the UK) any of several large halls in the Houses of Parliament in which MPs may meet members of the public.

    • ‘She received her first term of imprisonment in February 1908 for entering the lobby of the House of Commons.’
    • ‘‘I have committed no violations,’ he said in the lobby of Parliament last Friday.’
    • ‘In the years I knew him in the lobbies of the parliament, he was not only one of the most agreeable and charming MPs I had to deal with but one of the few people who really seemed to know what was going on.’
    • ‘Just before the dinner break when we took the vote on the Relationships Bill, inadvertently a vote was cast for one member on our side of the House in both lobbies.’
    • ‘Standing Order 42 determines that you have a right to control who is admitted to the meeting rooms and lobbies of Parliament.’
    • ‘The meeting also decided to ban smoking in the Central Hall and lobbies of Parliament in the light of a Supreme Court order against smoking at all public places in the country.’
    • ‘The last time we chatted was in the central lobby at the House of Commons, and looking at his sheer pleasure you'd imagine that he had just got a day pass to Elysium.’
    • ‘In the Parliament lobbies, heated debate erupted and he was accused by opposition MPs of trampling on the constitution.’
    • ‘Substitute the oak-panelled lobbies of Westminster for the more unassuming corridors of the Scottish Football League offices in Glasgow's West Regent Street.’
    • ‘I only wish that he could come into the lobbies and tell the Government members about it.’
    1. 2.1 (in the UK) each of two corridors in the Houses of Parliament to which MPs retire to vote.
      • ‘I am sure that not many of those on the Labour side of the select committee will go through the Ayes lobby and vote for the bill to continue.’
      • ‘In spite of his advancing years, he has regularly paraded nobly through the division lobbies in the cause of the suppression of vice.’
      • ‘Since 1997, Labour backbenchers have docilely suffered themselves to be herded through the division lobby with about as much consideration for their feelings as crated veal calves.’
      • ‘They were at their brutish best - standing on every possible route into the division lobby as MPs voted on controversial foundation hospitals.’
      • ‘‘He has never once spoken to any of us, bumped into us in the division lobby or come to see us in the tea-room,’ complained one of the phalanx of new intake Tory MPs who could prove critical to the final result.’
      • ‘The cohesion of parties in the division lobbies of the House dates from the 1890s and reached its peak in the 1950s.’
      • ‘But when a request was made, on the grounds of the closeness of the figures, for a division to take place for voting in the lobbies - a more reliable system - it fell.’
      • ‘This means physically counting members through the division lobbies, agreeing the number with the government Whip and announcing the result to Mr Speaker in the Chamber.’
      • ‘Without such soldiers, MPs would have no division lobby to go through.’
      • ‘Yes, and the parliamentary clones dutifully trooped through the division lobby to vote for war.’
      • ‘Of course, when I first came into this House every member, individually, had to vote and had to declare that vote in the lobby.’
      • ‘The bell gives them a 15-minute warning, which is just about sufficient time for them to discover exactly what they are voting for, and which division lobby to enter.’
      • ‘In the old world, the worst the whips faced was having to push a slurring MP through the right division lobby.’
      • ‘Posters in the lobby explain today's vote in six languages.’
      • ‘Of the government defeats in the division lobbies in this century, all but a handful have fallen in this category.’
      • ‘The mix of consensus and disagreement shows itself also in the division lobby.’
      • ‘But those who rarely speak in the House of Commons or vote in the division lobbies are letting down their constituents and fleecing taxpayers.’
      • ‘A Foxhunting vote in the lobbies now has been timely set to try and lessen the blow of bad rail failures and the push for oil in Afghanistan.’
      • ‘Superficially it seemed that votes in the division lobbies were the only thing that counted.’
      • ‘The last time a Government substantially cut the top income tax rate and the company tax rate was when that member and I passed in the division lobby to vote for them in 1988.’
    2. 2.2the lobbyinformal (in the UK) lobby correspondents collectively.
  • 3A group of people seeking to influence legislators on a particular issue.

    ‘members of the anti-abortion lobby’
    • ‘For decades, trucking company lobbies defended complex federal regulations that set hauling prices and routes and limited competition.’
    • ‘When she comes to see me, I will advise her that partisan politics in a lobby group such as Federated Farmers is not a very good idea.’
    • ‘In any case, those pushing it thought that the OECD, dominated by First World governments and corporate lobbies, was perhaps a more suitable venue for these matters.’
    • ‘This constant reference to the foetus as a baby has become common coin for the anti-abortion lobby.’
    • ‘I was happy to give them time - probably more time than I have given other lobby groups on other issues - but I feel a bit betrayed.’
    • ‘American lobby groups try to seek a legal way to attack that peg, which hurts their interests they say.’
    • ‘Into this mix you need to factor in the inordinate political influence of farm lobbies in many industrial countries, for example France, the US, Japan and arguably Australia.’
    • ‘Large numbers of well-educated and articulate refugees fled abroad and formed influential lobbies supporting the militant struggle, particularly through the LTTE.’
    • ‘Big business lobbies step up pressure on Germany's grand coalition’
    • ‘Under pressure from the agrochemical lobby, the British government has dropped plans to tax agricultural pesticide use.’
    • ‘Tax expenditures are Congress's response to the pressure of lobbies and special-interest groups.’
    • ‘This makes it a perfect issue for the anti-abortion lobby to take up.’
    • ‘It would be easy to imagine that the reason why the question of pain and late abortion have become connected is because the anti-abortion lobby have exploited the issue.’
    • ‘But the reality is that the ID movement actively lobbies for such legislation all around the country.’
    • ‘In addition the farming and pastoral lobbies had a strong influence on government policy making at both federal and state levels.’
    • ‘You can expect many of the big-business lobbies to oppose this legislation.’
    • ‘It's always been thus as the various vested interests, lobby groups and politicians seek to have their view of the world represented in the budget for the coming year.’
    • ‘The form that these standards take - and the increasing talk of using trade sanctions to impose them - is close to what protectionist lobbies in industrial nations seek.’
    • ‘He also boasted of being sought by numerous other lobbies, including the Hollywood trade group MPAA and several telecommunications firms.’
    • ‘The result of such legislation, the insurance lobby declared, would be increased costs that would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums.’
    pressure group, interest group, interest, movement, campaign, crusade, lobbyists, supporters
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    1. 3.1in singular An organized attempt by members of the public to influence legislators.
      ‘a recent lobby of Parliament by pensioners’
      • ‘There was to be a lobby of this meeting at 12.30 pm.’
      • ‘Whenever possible we'll try and organise lobbies and demonstrations to support the councillor on the inside.’
      • ‘There was a rally organised by the NPC pensioners' convention and a lobby of MPs.’
      • ‘Trades unionist Brian Anderson helped organise a major lobby of councillors as they entered the Guildhall for last week's showdown.’
      • ‘All the speakers called for the biggest possible turnout for the lobby of the Scottish Labour Party conference in Dundee on 4 March.’
      • ‘Glasgow Campaign to Defend Council Housing held a lobby of the Glasgow City Council meeting on Thursday of last week.’
      • ‘Last week we organised a lobby of the Lib Dem council to save our school.’
      • ‘Several FBU regions backed a lobby of this week's pay talks.’
      • ‘The meeting is being organised by the York Trades Union Council, which is also staging a lobby of councillors the following Thursday evening at the Guildhall before a full council meeting.’
      • ‘The STOPP campaign is to hold a lobby of the Department of Education on March 1.’
      • ‘The union plans to organise a lobby of the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth this September over manufacturing job losses.’
      • ‘But it is hoping that a lobby of councillors it is organising on Thursday will make such protests unnecessary.’
      • ‘The union is organising a lobby of parliament for next Wednesday.’
      • ‘Our next step was to organise a lobby of the next meeting of the Housing Committee.’
      • ‘Strikers called another lobby of the Liberal Democrat controlled council this week.’
      • ‘A lobby of the governors' meeting is planned on Tuesday 20 May at 6pm and other local schools are being asked to build for it.’
      • ‘The union is planning a lobby of the Welsh Assembly on Monday 21 October.’
      • ‘Activists are planning a lobby of the High Court in central London when the dates of the trial are known.’
      • ‘There was set to be a lobby of the national executive meeting.’
      • ‘A lobby of the meeting was due to take place to show the strength of support for the sacked librarians and to urge the university to reinstate them.’


[with object]
  • Seek to influence (a legislator) on an issue.

    ‘they insist on their right to lobby Congress’
    no object ‘the organization was formed to lobby for student concerns’
    • ‘Labour councillors have lobbied independent councillors to vote with them against the amendment.’
    • ‘Political leaders in the region are considering lobbying the Government to seek clarification.’
    • ‘The fledgling peat industry at the turn of the century lobbied the federal government for assistance.’
    • ‘Protesters recently lobbied the council demanding withdrawal of the cuts.’
    • ‘Opponents have lobbied their democratic representatives through the parliament.’
    • ‘Protesters lobbied councillors as they went into their meeting.’
    • ‘The campaign was built through lobbying the council, holding meetings and marches on the estate.’
    • ‘We've been to meetings in the Town Hall, we have lobbied councillors, we have called the police.’
    • ‘Rich farmers have lobbied the government to allow more migrant workers to come and work here for the season-and then be sent back.’
    • ‘It has lobbied politicians and swayed public opinion on how animals should be treated.’
    • ‘Private firms spend millions lobbying politicians to promote their interests.’
    • ‘The minister has lobbied the European Commission in support of a financial rescue package.’
    • ‘Thousands of parents formed action groups and lobbied their MPs in campaigning against the proposed changes.’
    • ‘A few years ago Rod and I were being lobbied by a group of officials from a large corporation.’
    • ‘Residents are still concerned about the plans and are lobbying Councilors to reject them.’
    • ‘Now had also launched a campaign which was seeking to lobby senators both in their home states and in the Senate itself.’
    • ‘The coalition urged demonstrators to lobby their senators and representatives to stop the war and the attack on civil liberties.’
    • ‘There have been hints from some Labour MPs in the media that indicate that they have been lobbied by the nuclear industry.’
    • ‘They also lobbied councillors and told them the increase in traffic would created a safety risk.’
    • ‘After lobbying the employers' association we went to the rally at Congress House.’
    seek to influence, try to persuade, bring pressure to bear on, importune, persuade, influence, sway
    campaign, crusade, press, push, drum up support, speak, clamour, ask, call, drive
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘monastic cloister’): from medieval Latin lobia, lobium ‘covered walk, portico’. The verb sense (originally US) derives from the practice of frequenting the lobby of a house of legislature to influence its members into supporting a cause.